The Washington-headquartered World Bank has approved two loans worth an estimated $291m for water-related civil infrastructure projects in Morocco.

The bank approved both loans on 15 June. They are part of a programme to increase access to potable water and sewerage services in the country while reducing wastewater-related pollution in 11 rural provinces.

The first loan was for the Oum Er Rbia sanitation project which is worth around $75m. This project aims to improve access to sewerage services and reduce wastewater-related pollution in towns throughout the provinces of Azilal, Benimellal, Khourigba, Safi, Youssoufia and Settat.

The wastewater collection and treatment component of the project includes the rehabilitation and expansion of existing sewerage systems as well as the construction of 11 mid-size water purification facilities.  

A secondary goal of the project is to test unconventional technologies for wastewater systems in rural locations. It will include constructing anaerobic ponds in two pilot cities as a measure to reduce odour and capture methane for potential productive uses.

The second scheme, the estimated $216m Potable Water Supply Systems project, will provide access to clean water for communities in the Moroccan towns of Nador, Driouch, Safi, Youssoufia, Sidi Bennour and Errachidia.

The project is made up of three components. The first part includes extending or renewing water production systems, regional trunk lines for bulk water transmission, rural conveyance laterals, pump stations and tanks to supply villages and public standpipe delivery systems.

The second part of the project covers the provision of technical assistance and project implementation to the National Potable Water Board of Morocco (Onep) and its Rural Water Supply programme.

World Bank funds also cover construction supervision services along with project management, monitoring and reporting activities including monitoring of the environmental management plans.

Consultants have not been named on either of the projects. Terms of the World Bank contract state that Onep is responsible for preparing letters of invitation and requests for proposal. Onep will also evaluate technical and commercial proposals and ultimately award contracts.  

In April, Morocco received an estimated $310m loan from Agence Francaise Developpment (AFD) to build a 235km phosphate slurry pipeline from Khouribga city to El-Jorf Lasfar (MEED 6:5:10).